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Liberating life is impossible without a radi¬ 
cal women’s revolution which would change 
man’s mentality and life. If we are unable to 
make peace between man and life and life 
and woman, happiness is but a vain hope. 
Gender revolution is not just about wom¬ 
an. It is about the five thousand years old 
civilisation of classed society which has left 
man worse off than woman. Thus, this gen¬ 
der revolution would simultaneously mean 
man’s liberation. 

I have often written about “total divorce”, 
i.e. the ability to divorce from the five thou¬ 
sand years old culture of male domina¬ 
tion. The female and male gender identities 
that we know today are constructs that were 
formed much later than the biological fe¬ 
male and male. Woman has been exploited 
for thousands of years according to this con¬ 
structed identity; never acknowledged for 
her labour. Man has to overcome always see¬ 
ing woman as wife, sister, or lover - stereo- 

Liberating Life: Woman’s Revolution 


Abdullah Ocalan 



International Initiative Edition 




Abdullah Ocalan: 

Liberating Life: Womans Revolution 
first edition 2013 
(c) Abdullah Ocalan 

ISBN: 978-3-941012-82-0 
Translation: International Initiative 

Published by: 

International Initiative Edition 

in cooperation with Mesopotamian Publishers, Neuss 
International Initiative 

“Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan - Peace in Kurdistan” 
P.O. Box 100511 
50445 Cologne 
Germany 

www.freedom-for-ocalan.com 


Liberating Life: 
Womans Revolution 


by Abdullah Ocalan 


3 


4 


Inhalt 


Introduction by the International Initiative 7 

1. Foreword 9 

2. Women’s Revolution: Neolithic Era 13 

3. The First Major Sexual Rupture 18 

4. Patriarchal authority became deep-rooted 23 

5. All slavery is based on housewifisation 26 

6. The Second Major Sexual Rupture 30 

7. Family, dynasty and state 35 

8. Womens situation in the Kurdish society 40 

9. Capitalism 43 

10. Economy 47 

11. Killing the dominant male: Instituting the 

Third Major Sexual Rupture against the dominant male 50 

12. Jineolojl as the science of woman 55 

13. Democratic modernity: Era ofWoman’s Revolution 59 

On the Author 63 

On the International Initiative 64 

Publications by Abdullah Ocalan 65 

Books 65 

Brochures 65 

FREEDOM FOR OCALAN! 66 


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Introduction by the International Initiative 


The brochure before you is the third brochure of its kind pre¬ 
pared by the International Initiative. These brochures have 
been compiled from different books written by Abdullah Oca- 
lan in order to give you a short outline of his opinions on spe¬ 
cific topics. 

Before Ocalan’s abduction and imprisonment in 1999, sever¬ 
al books based upon his speeches on sex and gender were pub¬ 
lished, among them three volumes of Nasilya§amalt? (“How to 
live?”). The title of a book of interviews with him, Erkegi oldiir- 
mek (“Killing the male”), became a well-known saying among 
Kurds. Ocalan coined several slogans like “A country can’t be 
free unless the women are free,” thereby redefining national 
liberation as first and foremost the liberation of women. In his 
prison writings, the liberation of women is touched on numer¬ 
ous times as part of Ocalan’s discussions of history, contem¬ 
porary society and political activism. This brochure has been 
compiled from excerpts on this topic from Ocalan’s work, es¬ 
pecially his most recent, as yet untranslated, works. 

The practice he observed in real socialist countries and his 
own theoretical efforts and practice since the 1970’s has led 
Ocalan to the conclusion that the enslavement of women was 
the start of all other forms of enslavement. This, he concludes, 
is not due to woman being biologically different to man, but 
because she was the founder and leader of the Neolithic matri¬ 
archal system. 

Abdullah Ocalan is not only a theorist; he is the leader of a 


7 


movement that strives not only for the liberation of Kurdish 
people, but also to find answers to the question of how to live 
meaningfully. This is why his writings have such impact on the 
lives of so many. 

He has been concerned with the issue of womens liberation 
all his life, and especially so during the struggle. He strongly 
encouraged women in the movement to take up the struggle 
against male dominance, providing inspiration through his cri¬ 
tique of patriarchy. This approach and conduct from such an 
influential leader contributed to major developments. 

For many years he spoke not only of the importance of 
surpassing constructed roles for women and men; he also en¬ 
couraged the establishment of women’s movements and insti¬ 
tutions so that women can question and reshape themselves, 
their lives, men and society. Thus, hand in hand with the 
Kurdish liberation struggle, there has arisen in Kurdistan an 
untypically strong participation of women in all areas of life. 
In fact, the outstanding dynamic and vitality of the women’s 
movement in Kurdistan often surprise the observer who does 
not expect this in a region of the world that is regarded as rath¬ 
er patriarchal. 

Over the years, Abdullah Ocalan often suggested that the 
level of woman’s freedom determines the freedom level of her 
society. He stated this yet again during a recent meeting with a 
BDP (Peace and Democracy Party) delegation, “To me, wom¬ 
en’s freedom is more precious than the freedom of the home¬ 
land.” 

This is how the idea for a special brochure on the question 
of women’s freedom came about. 


i. Foreword 


The question of women’s freedom has intrigued me through¬ 
out my life. While at first I viewed the enslavement of women 
in the Middle East and in general as the result of feudal back¬ 
wardness, after many years of revolutionary practice and re¬ 
search I came to the conclusion that the problem goes much 
deeper. The 5000-year-old history of civilisation is essentially 
the history of the enslavement of woman. Consequently, 
woman’s freedom will only be achieved by waging a struggle 
against the foundations of this ruling system. 

An analysis of mainstream civilisation with regard to the 
freedom question will make clear that civilisation has been 
weighted down by an ever-increasing slavery. This main¬ 
stream civilisation" is the civilisation passed down from, and 
in return influenced by, Sumer to Akkad, from Babylon to 
Assur, from Persia to Greece, Rome, Byzantium, Europe and 
finally the USA. Throughout the long history of this civilisa¬ 
tion, slavery has been perpetuated on three levels: First, there 
is construction of ideological slavery (conspicuously, but un¬ 
derstandably, fearsome and dominant gods are constructed 
from mythologies); then there is use of force; lastly, there is 
seizure of the economy. 

This three-tiered enchainment of society is excellently il¬ 
lustrated by the ziggurats, the temples established by the 
Sumerian priest-state. The upper levels of the ziggurats are 
propounded as the quarters of the god who controls the mind. 


9 


The middle floors are the political and administrative head¬ 
quarters of the priests. Finally, the bottom floor houses the 
craftsmen and agricultural workers who are forced to work in 
all kinds of production. Essentially, this model has been un¬ 
changed till today. Thus, an analysis of the ziggurat is in fact 
an analysis of the continuous mainstream civilisation system 
that will enable us to analyse the current capitalist world-sys¬ 
tem in terms of its true basis. Continuous, accumulative devel¬ 
opment of capital and power is only one side of the medallion. 
The other side is horrendous slavery, hunger, poverty and coer¬ 
cion into a herd-like society. 

Without depriving society of its freedom and ensuring that 
it can be managed like a herd, central civilisation cannot sus¬ 
tain or preserve itself, because of the nature of the system ac¬ 
cording to which it functions. This is done by creating even 
more capital and instruments of power, causing an ever-in- 
creasing poverty and herd-like mentality. The reason why the 
issue of freedom is the key question in every age, lies in the 
nature of the system itself. 

The history of the loss of freedom is at the same time the 
history of how woman lost her position and vanished from 
history. It is the history of how the dominant male, with all 
his gods and servants, rulers and subordinates, his economy, 
science and arts, obtained power. Woman's downfall and loss 
is thus the downfall and loss of the whole of society, with the 
resultant sexist society. The sexist male is so keen on construct¬ 
ing his social dominance over woman that he turns any con¬ 
tact with her into a show of dominance. 

The depth of woman's enslavement and the intentional 
masking of this fact is thus closely linked to the rise within a 
society of hierarchical and statist power. As women are habitu¬ 
ated to slavery, hierarchies (from the Greek word iepap/ia or 
hierarkhia, “rule by the high priest”) are established: the path 


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to the enslavement of the other sections of the society is paved. 
The enslavement of men comes after the enslavement of wom¬ 
en. Gender enslavement is different in some ways to class and 
nation enslavement. Its legitimisation is attained through re¬ 
fined and intense repression combined with lies that play on 
emotions. Woman’s biological difference is used as justifica¬ 
tion for her enslavement. All the work she does is taken for 
granted and called unworthy “woman’s work”. Her presence in 
the public sphere is claimed to be prohibited by religion, mor¬ 
ally shameful; progressively, she is secluded from all important 
social activities. As the dominant power of the political, social 
and economic activities are taken over by the men, the weak¬ 
ness of the women becomes even more institutionalised. Thus, 
the idea of a “weak sex” becomes a shared belief. 

In fact, society treats woman not merely as a biologically 
separate sex but almost as a separate race, nation or class - the 
most oppressed race, nation or class: no race, class or nation is 
subjected to such systematic slavery as housewifisation. 

The disappointment experienced due to failure of any strug¬ 
gle, be it for freedom or equality, or be it a democratic, moral, 
political or class struggle bears the imprint of the archetypal 
struggle for power relationship, the one between woman and 
man. From this relationship stem all forms of relationship that 
foster inequality, slavery, despotism, fascism and militarism. If 
we want to construe true meaning to terms such as equality, 
freedom, democracy and socialism that we so often use, we need 
to analyse and shatter the ancient web of relations that has 
been woven around women. There is no other way of attain¬ 
ing true equality (with due allowance for diversity), freedom, 
democracy and morality. 

But unambiguously clarifying the status of women is only 
one aspect of this issue. Far more important is the question 
of liberation; in other words, the resolution to the problem 


11 


exceeds the importance of revealing and analysing it. The most 
promising point in the current chaos of the capitalist system is 
the (albeit limited) exposure of women’s status. During the last 
quarter of the twentieth century feminism managed (though 
not sufficiently) to disclose the truth about women. In times 
of chaos, the possibility of change for any phenomenon in¬ 
creases in keeping with the level of progress or clarification 
available; thus, in such times, small steps taken for freedom 
may amount to leaps forward. Women’s freedom can emerge 
as the big winner from the current crisis. Whatever has been 
constructed by the human hand, can be demolished by the 
human hand. Women’s enslavement is neither a law of na¬ 
ture nor is it destiny. What we need is the necessary theory, 
programme, organisation and the mechanisms to implement 
them. 


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x. Women’s Revolution: 
Neolithic Era 


Patriarchy has not always existed. There is strong evidence 
that in the millennia before the rise of statist civilisation the 
position of women in society has been very different. Indeed, 
the society was matricentric - it was constructed around the 
women. 

Within the Zagros-Taurus system, Mesolithic and subse¬ 
quently Neolithic society started to develop at the end of the 
fourth glacial period, around twenty thousand years ago. This 
magnificent society, with its well-developed tools and sophisti¬ 
cated settlement systems, was far more advanced than the pre¬ 
ceding clan society. This period constituted a wondrous age in 
the history of our social nature. Many developments that are 
still with us can be traced back to this historical stage: the ag¬ 
ricultural revolution, the establishment of villages, the roots of 
trade, and the mother-based family as well as tribes and tribal 
organisations. 

Many methods, tools and equipment we still use today are 
based on inventions and discoveries most likely made by the 
women of this era, such as various useful applications of differ¬ 
ent plants, domestication of animals and cultivation of plants, 
construction of dwellings, principles of child nutrition, the 
hoe and hand grinder, perhaps even the ox-cart. 

To me, the cult of the mother-goddess in this age symbol¬ 
ises reverence for woman's role in these great advances. I don't 
see it as deification of an abstract fertility. At the same time, 


13 


the hierarchy based on the mother-woman is the historic root 
of the mother-concept, by which all societies still respect and 
acknowledge the mother as an authority. This authority she 
demands because the mother is the principal life-element that 
both gives birth and sustains life through nurturing, even un¬ 
der the most difficult conditions. Indeed, any culture and hier¬ 
archy based on this acknowledgement cannot help but revere 
woman. The true reason for the longevity of the mother-con¬ 
cept is the fact that the mother concretely forms the basis of 
the social being, the human; it is not due to an abstract ability 
to give birth. 

During the Neolithic period a complete communal social 
order, so called „primitive socialism", was created around 
woman. This social order saw none of the enforcement prac¬ 
tices of the state order; yet it existed for thousands of years. 
It is this long-lasting order that shaped humanity's collective 
social consciousness; and it is our endless yearning to regain 
and immortalise this social order of equality and freedom that 
led to our construct of paradise. 

Primitive socialism, characterised by equality and free¬ 
dom, was viable because the social morality of the matri¬ 
archal order did not allow ownership, which is the main 
factor behind the widening of the social divisions. Division 
of labour between the sexes, the other issue related to this 
divide, was not yet based on ownership and power rela¬ 
tions. Private relationships inside the group had not yet de¬ 
veloped. Food that had been gathered or hunted belonged 
to all. The children belonged to the clan. No man or wom¬ 
an was the private property of any one person. In all these 
matters, the community, which was still small and did not 
have a huge production capacity, had a solid common ide¬ 
ological and material culture. The fundamental principles 
sustaining society were sharing and solidarity - ownership 


14 


and force, as life threatening dangers, would have disrupted 
this culture. 

In contrast to mainstream society, Neolithic society’s rela¬ 
tionship with nature was maintained, both in terms of the 
ideological and material cultures, through adherence to eco¬ 
logical principles. Nature was regarded as alive and animated, 
no different from themselves. This awareness of nature fostered 
a mentality that recognised a multitude of sanctities and di¬ 
vinities in nature. We may gain a better understanding of the 
essence of collective life if we acknowledge that it was based on 
the metaphysics of sanctity and divinity, stemming from rever¬ 
ence for the mother-woman. 

What we need to understand is this: Why and how was it 
possible to supersede the matriarchal system of the Neolithic 
age? 

Since the earliest social groupings, there had been tension 
between womans gathering and man’s hunting, with the result 
that two different cultural evolutions developed within society. 

In the matriarchal society surplus product was, although 
limited, accumulated. (This was the start of economy - not as 
a concept but in terms of its essence - and it is here that we 
will find the roots of the different types of economies, such 
as capitalist and gift economies.) It was woman, the nurturer, 
who controlled this surplus. But man (quite possibly by devel¬ 
oping more successful hunting techniques) bettered his posi¬ 
tion, achieved a higher status and gathered a retinue around 
him. The “wise old man” and shaman, previously not part of 
the strong man’s band, now attached themselves to him and 
helped to construct the ideology of male dominance. They 
intended to develop a very systematic movement against the 
women. 

In the matriarchal society of the Neolithic age, there were 
no institutionalised hierarchies; now they were slowly being 


15 


introduced. The alliance with the shaman and elderly, experi¬ 
enced man was an important development in this regard. The 
ideological hold the male alliance established over the young 
men they drew into their circle strengthened their position in 
the community. What is important is the nature of the power 
gained by men. Both hunting and defending the clan from 
external dangers relied on killing and wounding and thus had 
military characteristics. This was the beginning of the culture 
of war. In a situation of life and death, one must abide by the 
authority and hierarchy. 

Communality is the foundation on which hierarchy and 
state power are built. Originally, the term hierarchy referred 
to government by the priests, the authority of the wise elders. 
Initially, it had a positive function. We may perhaps even view 
the beneficial hierarchy in a natural society as the prototype of 
democracy. The mother-woman and the wise elders ensured 
communal security and the governance of the society; they 
were necessary and useful, fundamental elements in a society 
that was not based on accumulation and ownership. Society 
voluntarily awarded them respect. But when voluntary de¬ 
pendence is transformed into authority, usefulness into self- 
interest, it always gives way to an uncalled for instrument of 
force. The instrument of force disguises itself behind common 
security and collective production. This constitutes the core 
of all exploitative and oppressive systems. It is the most sin¬ 
ister creation ever invented; the creation that brought fourth 
all forms of slavery, all forms of mythology and religion, all 
systematic annihilation and plunder. 

No doubt, there were external reasons for the disintegration 
of the Neolithic society, but the main factor was the sacred 
state society of the priests. The legends of the initial civilisa¬ 
tions in Lower Mesopotamia and along the Nile confirm this. 
The advanced Neolithic society culture combined with new 


16 


techniques of artificial irrigation provided the surplus product 
required for the establishment of such a society. It was mostly 
through the newly achieved position and power of the man 
that the urban society which formed around the surplus prod¬ 
uct was organised in the form of a state. 

Urbanisation meant commodification. It resulted in trade. 
Trade seeped into the veins of Neolithic society in the form 
of colonies. Commodification, exchange value and ownership 
grew exponentially, thus accelerating the disintegration of the 
Neolithic society. 


17 


3. The First Major Sexual Rupture 


In the vein of the r evolution!counter revolution scheme of histor¬ 
ical materialism, I suggest that we term the remarkable turn¬ 
ing points in the history of the relationship between the sexes 
sexual rupture. History has seen two of these ruptures and, I 
predict, will see another in the future. 

In the social ages preceding civilisation, the organised force 
of the “strong man” existed for the sole purposes of trapping 
animals and defence against outside danger. It is this organ¬ 
ised force that coveted the family-clan unit that the woman 
had established as a product of her emotional labour. The 
take-over of the family-clan constituted the first serious or¬ 
ganisation of violence. What were usurped in the process, 
were woman herself, her children and kin, and all their mate¬ 
rial and moral cultural accumulation. It was the plunder of 
the initial economy, the home economy. The organised force 
of proto-priest (shaman), experienced elder and strong man 
allied to compose the initial and longest enduring patriarchal 
hierarchic power, that of holy governance. This can be seen 
in all societies that are at a similar stage: until the class, city 
and state stage, this hierarchy is dominant in social and eco¬ 
nomic life. 

In the Sumerian society, although the balance gradually 
turned against the woman, the two sexes were still more or less 
equal until the second millennium BC. The many temples for 
goddesses and the mythological texts from this period indicate 


18 


that between 4000 and 2000 BC the influence of the woman- 
mother culture on the Sumerians, who formed the centre of 
civilisation, was at par with that of the man. As yet, no culture 
of shame had developed around the woman. 

So, we see here the start of a new culture that develops its 
superiority over the mother-woman cult. The development of 
this authority and hierarchy before the start of classed soci¬ 
ety constitutes one of the most important turning points in 
history. This culture is qualitatively different from the moth¬ 
er-woman culture. Gathering and later cultivation, the pre¬ 
dominant elements of the mother-woman culture, are peaceful 
activities that do not require warfare. Hunting, which is pre¬ 
dominantly taken up by man, rests on war culture and harsh 
authority. 

It is understandable that the strong man, whose essential 
role was hunting, coveted the accumulation of the matriarchal 
order. Establishing his dominance would yield many advan¬ 
tages. Organisation of the power he gained through hunting, 
now gave him the opportunity to rule and to establish the very 
first social hierarchy. This development constituted the very 
first usage of analytical intelligence with malignant intentions; 
subsequently, it became systemic. Furthermore, the transition 
from sacred mother cult to sacred father cult enabled analyti¬ 
cal intelligence to mask itself behind sanctity. 

Thus, the origin of our serious social problems is to be found 
in patriarchal societies that became cult-like, that is religion- 
ised, around the strong man. With the enslavement of women, 
the ground was prepared for the enslavement of not only chil¬ 
dren but also of men. As man gained experience in accumulat¬ 
ing values through the use of slave labour (especially accumu¬ 
lating of surplus product), his control over and domination 
of these slaves grew. Power and authority became increasingly 
important. The collaboration between the strong man, expe- 


19 


rienced elder and shaman to form a privileged sector, resulted 
in a power centre that was difficult to resist. In this centre, 
analytical intelligence developed an extraordinary mythologi¬ 
cal narrative in order to rule the minds of the populace. In 
the mythological world composed for Sumerian society (and 
passed down through the ages with some adaptations), man is 
exalted to the point that he is deified as creator of heaven and 
earth. While woman’s divinity and sacredness is first demeaned 
and then erased, the idea of man as ruler and absolute power is 
imprinted on society. Thus, through an enormous network of 
mythological narrative, every aspect of culture is cloaked in the 
relationship of ruler and ruled, creator and created. Society is 
beguiled into internalising this mythological world and gradu¬ 
ally it becomes the preferred version. Then it is turned into re¬ 
ligion, a religion into which the concept of a strict distinction 
between people is built. For instance, the class division of soci¬ 
ety is reflected in the story of Adam and Eve’s expulsion from 
paradise and condemnation to servitude. This legend endows 
the Sumerian ruler-gods with creative power; their subjects are 
recreated as servants. 

Sumerian mythology knew the story of creation out of the 
rib of an anthropomorphic god - only, it was the goddess 
Ninhursag who carried out the act of creation in order to save 
the life of the male god Enki. Over time, the narrative was 
changed to benefit the man. The repetitive elements of rivalry 
and creativity in the myths of Enki and Ninhursag-Inanna had 
the two-fold function of, on the one hand, demeaning woman 
and diminishing the importance of her past creativity and, 
on the other hand, of symbolising the forming of a human 
that is but a slave and a servant. (I believe that this last men¬ 
tioned conception of the Sumerian priests has played a role in 
all subsequent god-servant dilemmas. To determine the truth 
of this is vital; nevertheless, religious literature either refrains 


20 


from doing so or rejects the notion out of hand. Is this because 
theologians feel the need to disguise the truth and hence their 
interests in the matter?) 

The divine identities designed in the Sumerian society are 
the reflections of the new approach to nature and of the new 
societal powers; more than that, they are almost deployed for 
the purpose of conditioning the mind anew. Hand in hand 
with the decreasing influence of the natural dimension, the so¬ 
cietal dimension gains importance; womens influence gradu¬ 
ally decreases; and there are striking developments in the mat¬ 
ter of signalising the human being as subject, as servant. While 
the growing political power in society results in the promi¬ 
nence of some of the gods, it also results in the loss of some 
identities and a significant change in form of others. Thus, the 
absolute power of the monarch during the Babylonian phase 
is reflected in the rise of the god Marduk. This last phase of 
Sumerian mythology indicates that the threshold of the birth 
of monotheistic religions has been reached. 

In an order like this where the man owned the children, the 
father would want to have as many children as possible (es¬ 
pecially male children, for attainment of power). Command 
of the children enabled him to seize the mother-woman’s ac¬ 
cumulation: the ownership system was created. Alongside the 
priest-state’s collective ownership, the private ownership of the 
dynasty was established. Private ownership too necessitated the 
establishment of fatherhood: fatherhood-rights were required 
so that the inheritance could be passed on (mainly) to the 
male children. 

From 2000 BCE onwards, this culture became widespread. 
Woman’s social status was radically altered. The patriarchal so¬ 
ciety had gained the strength to make its rule legendary. While 
the world of the male is exalted and heroised, everything fe¬ 
male is belittled, demeaned and vilified. 


21 


So radical was this sexual rupture, that it resulted in the 
most significant change in social life history has ever seen. This 
change concerning woman’s value within the Middle Eastern 
culture, we can call the first major sexual rupture or counter¬ 
revolution. I call it a counter-revolution because it has contrib¬ 
uted nothing to a positive development of society. On the con¬ 
trary, it has led to an extraordinary poverty of life by bringing 
about patriarchy’s stiff domination of society and the exclusion 
of women. This tear in Middle Eastern civilisation is arguably 
the first step in its progressively deteriorating situation, as the 
negative consequences of this rupture just keep on multiply¬ 
ing as time goes on. Instead of a dual voiced society, it pro¬ 
duced a single voiced, male society. A transition was made to 
a single dimensioned, extremely masculine social culture. The 
emotional intelligence of woman that created wonders, that 
was humane and committed to nature and life, was lost. In its 
place has been born the cursed analytical intelligence of a cruel 
culture that has surrendered itself to dogmatism and detached 
itself from nature; that considers war to be the most exalted 
virtue and enjoys the shedding of human blood; that sees his 
arbitrary treatment of woman and his enslavement of man as 
its right. This intelligence is the antitype of the egalitarian in¬ 
telligence of woman that is focused on humanitarian produc¬ 
tion and animate nature. 

The mother has become the ancient goddess; she now sits 
in her home, an obedient and chaste woman. Far from being 
equal to the gods, she cannot make her voice heard or reveal 
her face. Slowly, she is wrapped in veils, becomes a captive 
within the harem of the strong man. 

The depth of woman’s enslavement in Arabia (intensified in 
the Abrahamic tradition by Moses) is linked to this historical 
development. 


22 


4 . Patriarchal authority became deep-rooted 


A hierarchical and authoritarian structure is essential for a pa¬ 
triarchal society. Allying authoritarian administration with the 
shaman’s sacred authority resulted in the concept of hierarchy. 
The institution of authority would gradually gain prominence 
in society and as class distinctions intensified, would transform 
into state authority. As yet, hierarchical authority was person¬ 
al, not yet institutionalised, and thus did not have as much 
dominance over society as in the institutionalised state. Com¬ 
pliance to it was partly voluntary, commitment determined by 
society’s interests. 

However, the process that was set in motion was conducive 
to the birth of the hierarchical state. The primitive commu¬ 
nal system resisted this process for a long time. Respect and 
commitment to the authority of the alliance was shown only 
if they shared their product accumulation with the members 
of society. In fact, accumulation of surplus product was seen 
as wrong; the person who commanded the most respect was 
the one who distributed his or her accumulation. (The revered 
tradition of generosity, which is still widespread in clan socie¬ 
ties, has its roots in this powerful historical tradition.) From 
the very beginning, the community saw accumulation of sur¬ 
plus product as the most serious threat to itself and based its 
morality and religion on resisting this threat. But, eventually, 
man's accumulation culture and hierarchical authority did de¬ 
feat that of woman. We must be very clear that this victory 
was not an unavoidable, historical necessity. There is no law 


23 


that states that a natural society must necessarily develop into 
a hierarchical and subsequently a statist society. There may be 
a propensity towards such a development, but equating such 
a propensity with an inevitable, incessant process that has to 
run its full course, would be a totally erroneous assumption. 
Viewing the existence of classes as fate has become nothing 
but an unintended tool for class ideologists. 

After this defeat, severe tears appeared in woman's commu¬ 
nal society. The process of transforming to hierarchical soci¬ 
ety was not an easy one. This is the transition phase between 
primitive communal society and state. Eventually hierarchi¬ 
cal society had to either disintegrate or result in statehood. 
Although it did play some positive role in the development 
of society, its form of socialisation, the alliance between the 
male powers, provided the strength to hierarchical patriarchy 
to develop into statehood. It was really the hierarchical and 
patriarchal society that subjugated women, youth, and mem¬ 
bers of other ethnicities; it was done before the development 
of the state. The most important point is how this subjugation 
was accomplished. The authority to do this was not attained 
through laws, but through the new morals that were based on 
worldly needs instead of sacredness. 

While there is a development towards the religious concept 
of an abstract and single god that reflects the values of the pa¬ 
triarchal society, the matriarchal authority of the natural society 
with its myriad goddesses resists. In the matriarchal order, the 
essential rules are to labour, produce and provide in order to 
keep people alive. While patriarchal morality legitimises accu¬ 
mulation and paves the way for ownership, the morality of com¬ 
munal society condemns accumulation of surplus as the source 
of all wrong-doing, and encourages its distribution. The internal 
harmony in society gradually deteriorates and tension increases. 

The solution to this conflict would be either returning to the 


24 


old matriarchal values or escalating patriarchal power inside 
and outside the community. To the patriarchal faction there 
was only one choice. The foundations for the violent, war-like 
society based on oppression and exploitation were established. 
Through this process of conflict the state-phase, the phase of 
institutionalised authority based on permanent force, was ar¬ 
rived at. 

Without an analysis of woman’s status in the hierarchical 
system and the conditions under which she was enslaved, nei¬ 
ther the state nor the classed system that it rests upon can be 
understood. Woman is not targeted as the female gender, but 
as the founder of the matriarchal society. Without a thorough 
analysis of women’s enslavement and establishing the condi¬ 
tions for overcoming it, no other slavery can be analysed or 
overcome. Without these analyses, fundamental mistakes can¬ 
not be avoided. 


25 


5. All slavery is based on housewifisation 


Ever since the hierarchical orders enormous leap forward, sex¬ 
ism has been the basic ideology of power. It is closely linked to 
class division and the wielding of power. Woman’s authority is 
not based on surplus product; on the contrary, it stems from 
fertility and productivity, and strengthens social existence. 
Strongly influenced by emotional intelligence, she is tightly 
bound to communal existence. The fact that woman does not 
have a visible place in the power wars based on surplus prod¬ 
uct is due to this position of hers in social existence. 

We need to point out a characteristic that has become in¬ 
stitutionalised within civilisational societies, namely society's 
being prone to power relations. Just as housewifisation was 
needed to recreate woman, society needed to be prepared in 
order for power to secure its own existence. Housewifisation 
is the oldest form of slavery. The strong man and his entou¬ 
rage defeated the mother-woman and all aspects of her cult 
through long and comprehensive struggles. Housewifisation 
became institutionalised when the sexist society became domi¬ 
nant. Gender discrimination is not a notion restricted to the 
power relations between woman and man. It defines the power 
relations that have been spread to all social levels. It is indica¬ 
tive of the state power that has reached its maximum capacity 
with modernity. 

Gender discrimination has had a twofold destructive effect 
on society. Firstly, it has opened society to slavery; secondly, 
all other forms of enslavement have been implemented on the 


26 


basis of housewifisation. Housewifisation does not only aim 
to recreate an individual as a sex object; it is not a result of 
a biological characteristic. Housewifisation is an intrinsically 
social process and targets the whole of society. Slavery, subju¬ 
gation, subjection to insults, weeping, habitual lying, unas¬ 
sertiveness and flaunting oneself are all recognised aspects of 
housewifisation and must be rejected by the freedom-moral¬ 
ity. It is the foundation of a degraded society and the true 
foundation of slavery. It is the institutional foundation upon 
which the oldest and all subsequent types of slavery and im¬ 
morality were implemented. Civilisational society reflects this 
foundation in all social categories. If the system is to func¬ 
tion, society in its entirety must be subjected to housewifi¬ 
sation. Power is synonymous to masculinity. Tlius, society's 
subjection to housewifisation is inevitable, because power 
does not recognise the principles of freedom and equality. If it 
did, it could not exist. Power and sexism in society share the 
same essence. 

Another important point we have to mention is dependence 
and oppression of the youth established by the experienced el¬ 
derly man in a hierarchical society. While experience strength¬ 
ens the elderly man, age renders him weak and powerless. This 
compels the elderly to enlist the youth, which is done by win¬ 
ning their minds. Patriarchy is strengthened tremendously by 
these means. The physical power of the youth enables them 
to do whatever they please. This dependency of the youth has 
been continuously perpetuated and deepened. Superiority of 
experience and ideology cannot easily be broken. The youth 
(and even the children) are subjugated to the same strategies 
and tactics, ideological and political propaganda, and oppres¬ 
sive systems as the woman - adolescence, like femininity, is 
not a physical but a social fact. 

This must be well understood: It is not coincidence that the 


27 


first powerful authority that was established was authority over 
woman. Woman represents the power of the organic, natural 
and egalitarian society which has not experienced oppressive 
and exploitative relations. Patriarchy could not have been vic¬ 
torious if she was not defeated; moreover, the transition to the 
institution of the state could not have been made. Breaking 
the power of the mother-woman thus was of strategic signifi¬ 
cance. No wonder that it was such an arduous process. 

Without analysing the process through which woman was 
socially overcome, one cannot properly understand the fun¬ 
damental characteristics of the consequent male-dominant so¬ 
cial culture. Even awareness of the societal establishment of 
masculinity will be impossible. Without understanding how 
masculinity was socially formed, one cannot analyse the in¬ 
stitution of state and therefore will not be able to accurately 
define the war and power culture related to statehood. I stress 
this issue because we need to truly expose the macabre god¬ 
like personalities, which developed as a result of all later class 
divisions, and all the different types of exploitation and mur¬ 
der they have done. The social subjugation of woman was the 
vilest counter-revolution ever carried out. 

Power has reached its full capacity in the form of the nation¬ 
state. It derives its strength mainly from the sexism it spreads 
and intensifies by the integration of women into the labour 
force as well as through nationalism and militarism. Sexism, 
just as nationalism, is an ideology through which power is 
generated and nation-states are built. Sexism is not a function 
of biological differences. To the dominant male, the female is 
an object to be used for the realisation of his ambitions. In the 
same vein, when the housewifisation of woman was done, he 
started the process of turning males into slaves; subsequently 
the two forms of slavery have become intertwined. 

In short, the campaigns for excluding women and for manu- 


28 


facturing reverence for the conquering, warrior male authority 
structure were tightly interwoven. The state as an institution 
was invented by males and wars of plunder and pillages were 
almost its sole mode of production. Woman's societal influ¬ 
ence based on production was replaced by man's societal influ¬ 
ence based on war and pillage. There is a close link between 
woman's captivity and the warrior societal culture. War does 
not produce, it seizes and plunders. Although force can be de¬ 
cisive for social progress under certain unique conditions (e.g., 
through resistance to occupation, invasion and colonialism the 
way to freedom is paved), but more often than not it is de¬ 
structive and negative. 

The culture of violence that has become internalised within 
society is fed by war. The sword of war wielded in state warfare 
and the hand of the man within the family, are symbols of 
hegemony. The entire classed society, from its upper layers to 
its lower layers, is clamped between the sword and the hand. 

This is something that I have always tried to understand: 
How is it possible that the power held by the woman fell into 
the hands of the man, who is really not very productive and 
creative. The answer lies of course in the role force played. 
When the economy too was taken from the woman, atrocious 
captivity was inevitable. 


29 


6 . The Second Major Sexual Rupture 


Millennia after the establishment of patriarchy (what I call the 
“first major sexual rupture”) women were once again dealt a 
blow from which they are still struggling to recover. I am refer¬ 
ring to the intensification of patriarchy through the monothe¬ 
istic religions. 

The mentality of rejecting the natural society deepened in 
the feudal social system. Religious and philosophical thought 
constituted the new society's dominant mentality. In the same 
way that the Sumerian society had synthesised the values of 
Neolithic society into its own new system, the feudal society 
synthesised the moral values of the oppressed classes from the 
old system and the resisting ethnic groups from the remote 
areas into its own internal structures. The development of 
polytheism into monotheism played an important part in this 
process. 

The mythological features of the mind-set are renewed with 
religious and philosophical concepts. The rising power of the 
empire is reflected in the multitude of powerless gods that 
evolved into an omnipotent, universal god. 

The culture concerning women that was developed by the 
monotheistic religions resulted in the second major sexual 
rupture. Where the rupture of the mythological period was a 
cultural requirement, the rupture of the monotheistic period 
was “the law as god commands”. Treating women as inferior 
now became the sacred command of god. The superiority of 


30 


man in the new religion is illustrated by the relationship be¬ 
tween the prophet Abraham and the women Sarah and Hagar. 
Patriarchy is now well established. The institution of concu¬ 
binage was formed; polygamy approved. As indicated by the 
fierce relationship between the prophet Moses and his sister 
Mariam, woman’s share in the cultural heritage was eradicated. 
The society of the prophet Moses was a total male society in 
which women were not given any task. This is what the fight 
with Mariam was about. 

In the period of the Hebrew kingdom that rose just before 
the end of the first millennium BCE, we see, with David and 
Solomon, the transition to a culture of extensive housewifi- 
sation. Woman under the dual domination of the patriarchal 
culture and the religious state culture play no public role. The 
best woman is the one who conforms best to her man or pa¬ 
triarchy. Religion becomes a tool to slander woman. Primarily, 
she - Eve - is the first sinful woman who has seduced Adam 
resulting in his expulsion from paradise. Lilith does not subju¬ 
gate herself to Adam’s god (a patriarchal figure) and befriends 
the chief of the evil spirits (a human figure who rejects be¬ 
ing a servant and does not obey Adam). Indeed, the Sumerian 
claim that woman has been created from man’s rib has been 
included in the Bible. As pointed out earlier, this is a com¬ 
plete reversal of the original narrative — from women being the 
creator to being the created. Women are hardly mentioned as 
prophets in the religious traditions. Woman’s sexuality is seen 
as the most wretched evil and has continuously been vilified 
and besmirched. Woman, who still had an honoured place in 
Sumerian and Egyptian societies, now became a figure of dis¬ 
grace, sin and seduction. 

With the arrival of the period of the prophet Jesus, came 
the figure of Mother Mary. Although she is the mother of the 
son of God, there is no trace left of her former goddess-ness. 


31 


An extremely quiet, weeping mother (without the title of god¬ 
dess!) has replaced the mother-goddess. The fall continues. It 
is quite ironic that a mere woman is impregnated by God. In 
fact, the trinity of Father, Son and Holy Spirit represents the 
synthesis of polytheistic religions and monotheistic religion. 
Whilst Mary too should have been considered a god, she is 
seen as merely the tool of Holy Spirit. This indicates that 
divinity has become exclusively male. In the Sumerian and 
Egyptian periods, gods and goddesses were almost equal. Even 
during the Babylonian era the voice of the mother-goddess 
was still heard clearly and loudly. 

Woman no longer had any social role bar being the woman 
of her house. Her primary duty was looking after her male 
children, the “son-gods”, whose value had increased much 
since the mythological period. The public sphere was totally 
closed off to her. Christianity’s praxis of saintly virgin women 
was in fact a retreat into seclusion in order to find salvation 
from sins. At least, this saintly, cloistered life offered some 
deliverance from sexism and condemnation. There are good 
and strong material and spiritual reasons for choosing life 
in a cloister above the hell-like life at home. We can almost 
call this institution the first poor women’s party. Monogamy, 
which had been well established in Judaism, was taken over 
by Christianity and sanctified. This praxis has an important 
place in the history of European civilisation. A negative aspect 
is that women are treated as sexual objects in the European 
civilisation because Catholics are not allowed to divorce. 

With the coming of the prophet Muhammad and Islam, the 
status of women in the patriarchal culture of the desert tribes 
improved somewhat. But in its essence, Islam has based itself 
on the Abrahamic culture; women had the same status dur¬ 
ing the period of the prophet Muhammad as they had in the 
period of David and Solomon. As then, multiple marriages for 


32 


political reasons and numerous concubines were legitimate. 
Although in Islam marriage is restricted to four women, in es¬ 
sence it is unchanged because owning of harems and concu¬ 
bines became an institution. 

Both the Christian and Muslim cultures have become stag¬ 
nant in terms of overcoming the sexist society. The policies of 
Christianity towards women and sexuality in general are what 
lie behind the crisis of the modernist monogamous life. This is 
the reality behind the crisis of the sexist culture in Western so¬ 
ciety. This can also not be solved by celibacy as it is demanded 
from priests and nuns. The Islamic solution, giving priority to 
male sexual fulfilment with many women in the position of 
wife and concubine, has been as unsuccessful. In essence, the 
harem is but a privatised brothel for the sole use of the privi¬ 
leged individual. The sexist social practices of harem and po¬ 
lygamy have had a determining role in Middle Eastern society 
falling behind Western society. While the restraining of sexual¬ 
ity by Christianity is a factor that has led to modernity, encour¬ 
aging excessive sexual fulfilment is a factor that has led to Islam 
regressing to a state worse than the old desert tribal society, and 
to it being surpassed by the society of Western modernity. 

The effect of sexism on societal development is far bigger 
than we assume. When analysing the growing gap between 
Eastern and Western societal development, we should focus on 
the role of sexism. Islam’s perception of sexism has produced 
far more negative results than Western civilisation in terms of 
the profound enslavement of woman and male dominance. 

Societal servitude is not just a class phenomenon. There is 
an order of subjugation which is more deeply hidden than the 
slave owning system itself. The softening of this truth contrib¬ 
utes to the deepening of the system. The fundamental para¬ 
digm of society is a system of servitude which has no begin¬ 
ning and no end. 


33 


7 . Family, dynasty and state 


I have mentioned the intense relationship between the power 
relations within the patriarchal family and the state. This de¬ 
serves a closer look. 

The cornerstones of dynastic ideology are the patriarchal 
family, fatherhood and having many male children. This can 
be traced back to the understanding of political power in the 
patriarchal system. While the priest established his power 
through his so called ability to give and interpret meaning, the 
strong man established his leadership through the use of po¬ 
litical power. Political power can be understood as the use of 
force when leadership is not adhered to. On the other hand, 
the power of priest rests on „god‘s wrath" when not abided; 
it is spiritual power and thus has a stimulating effect. The 
true source of political power is the military entourage of the 
strong man. 

Dynasty, as ideology and in practice, developed as a result 
of turning this system upside down. Within the patriarchal or¬ 
der, the patriarchal governance became deep-rooted as a con¬ 
sequence of the alliance between the experienced old man", 
the „strong man" with his military entourage and the shaman 
who, as the sacred leader, was the forerunner of the priest. 

The dynastic system should be understood as an integrated 
whole, where ideology and structure cannot be separated. It 
developed from within the tribal system but established itself 
as the upper class administrative family nucleus, thereby deny- 


34 


ing the tribal system. It has a very strict hierarchy. It is a proto¬ 
ruling class, the prototype of power and state. It depends on 
man and male children; owning many is important in order 
to have power. A consequence of this has been polygamy, the 
harem and the concubine system. Creation of power and state 
is the dynasty's first priority. More importantly, dynasty was 
the very first institution that ensured its own clan and tribes 
as well as the other tribal systems became accustomed to class 
division and slavery. In the Middle Eastern civilisation, it has 
become so deep-rooted that there is almost no power or state 
that is not a dynasty. Because it constitutes a training ground 
for power and state, it is continually perpetuated and very dif¬ 
ficult to overcome. 

Every man in the family perceives himself as the owner of a 
small kingdom. This dynastic ideology is the effective reason 
why family is such an important issue. The greater the number 
of women and children that belong to the family, the more 
security and dignity the man attains. It is also important to 
analyse the current family as an ideological institution. If we 
are to eliminate woman and family from the civilisational sys¬ 
tem, its power and state, there will be little left to constitute 
the order. But the price of this will be the painful, poverty 
stricken, degraded and defeated existence of woman under a 
never-ending, low-intensity state of warfare. The male monop¬ 
oly that has been maintained over the life and world of woman 
throughout history, is not unlike the monopoly chain that 
capital monopolies maintain over society. More importantly, 
it is the oldest powerful monopoly. We might draw more real¬ 
istic conclusions if we evaluate woman's existence as the oldest 
colonial phenomenon. It may be more accurate to call women 
the oldest colonised people who have never become a nation. 

Family, in this social context, developed as man's small state. 
The family as an institution has been continuously perfected 


35 


throughout the history of civilisation, solely because of the re¬ 
inforcement it provides to power and state apparatus. Firstly, 
family is turned into a stem cell of state society by giving pow¬ 
er to the family in the person of the male. Secondly, woman's 
unlimited and unpaid labour is secured. Thirdly, she raises 
children in order to meet population needs. Fourthly, as a role 
model she disseminates slavery and immorality to the whole 
society. Family, thus constituted, is the institution where dy¬ 
nastic ideology becomes functional. 

The most important problem for freedom in a social context 
is thus family and marriage. When the woman marries, she is 
in fact enslaved. It is impossible to imagine another institu¬ 
tion that enslaves like marriage. The most profound slaveries 
are established by the institution of marriage, slaveries that 
become more entrenched within the family. This is not a gen¬ 
eral reference to sharing life or partner relationships that can 
be meaningful depending on one's perception of freedom and 
equality. What is under discussion is the ingrained, classical 
marriage and family. Absolute ownership of woman means her 
withdrawal from all political, intellectual, social and economic 
arenas; this cannot be easily recovered. Thus, there is a need 
to radically review family and marriage and develop common 
guidelines aimed at democracy, freedom and gender equality. 
Marriages or relationships that arise from individual, sexual 
needs and traditional family concepts can cause some of the 
most dangerous deviations on the way to a free life. Our need 
is not for these associations but for attaining gender equality 
and democracy throughout society and for the will to shape 
a suitable and common life. This can only be done by analys¬ 
ing the mentality and political environment that breed such 
destructive associations. 

The dynastic and family culture that remains so powerful in 
today's Middle Eastern society is one of the main sources of 


36 


their problems because it has given rise to an excessive popula¬ 
tion, power and ambitions to share in the state's power. The 
degradation of women, inequality, children not being educat¬ 
ed, family brawls, and problems of honour are all related to 
the family issue. It is as if a small model of the problems inte¬ 
gral to power and state are established within the family. Thus, 
it is essential to analyse the family in order to analyse power, 
state, class and society. 

State and power centres gave the father-man within the fam¬ 
ily a copy of their own authority and had them play that role. 
Thus, the family became the most important tool for legitimis¬ 
ing monopolies. It became the fountainhead of slaves, serfs, 
labourers, soldiers and providers of all other services needed by 
the ruling and capitalist rings. That is why they set such im¬ 
portance to family, why they sanctified it. Although woman's 
labour is the most important source of profit for the capitalist 
rings, they concealed this by putting additional burdens on the 
family. Family has been turned into the insurance of the sys¬ 
tem and thus it will inevitably be perpetuated. 

Critique of family is vital. Remnants from past patriarchal 
and state societies and patterns from modern Western civilisa¬ 
tion have not created a synthesis but an impasse in the Middle 
East. The bottleneck created within the family is even more 
tangled than the one within the state. If the family continues 
to maintain its strength in contrast to other faster-dissolving 
social bonds, this is because it is the only available social shel¬ 
ter. We should not discount family. If soundly analysed, family 
can become the mainstay of democratic society. Not only the 
woman but the whole family should be analysed as the stem 
cell of power; if not, we will leave the ideal and implementation 
of democratic civilisation without its most important element. 

Family is not a social institution that should be overthrown. 
But it should be transformed. The claim of ownership over 


37 


woman and children, handed down from the hierarchy, should 
be abandoned. Capital (in all its forms) and power relations 
should have no part in the relationship of couples. Breeding 
of children as motivation for sustaining this institution should 
be abolished. The ideal approach to male-female association is 
one that is based on the freedom philosophy, devoted to moral 
and political society. Within this framework, the transformed 
family will be the most robust assurance of democratic civili¬ 
sation and one of the fundamental relationships within that 
order. Natural companionship is more important than official 
partnership. Partners should always accept the other’s right to 
live alone. One cannot act in a slavish or reckless manner in 
relationships. 

Clearly, the family will experience its most meaningful 
transformation during democratic civilisation. If woman, who 
has been stripped of much of her strength and respect, does 
not regain this, meaningful family unions cannot be devel¬ 
oped. There can be no respect for a family that is established 
on ignorance. In the construction of democratic civilisation, 
the role of the family is vital. 


38 


8 . Women’s situation in the Kurdish society 


Thus far, I have described some general characteristics of the 
sexist society. Let me conclude this analysis with some remarks 
on the specific conditions of Kurdish women. 

The transition from the Sumerian to the Hittite civilisation 
pushed the proto-Kurds to strengthen their tribal existence. 
Because a premature statehood would have caused their elimi¬ 
nation, they seemed to have preferred a semi-nomadic, semi¬ 
guerrilla life style. As more and more states were established 
around them, they felt an increasing need to strengthen their 
tribal structures. Kurdish tribalism resembled the lifestyle of 
a guerrilla group. When we take a closer look at the family 
within the tribal organisation, we see the prominence of ma¬ 
triarchy and freedom. Women were quite influential and free. 
The alertness, strength and courage of the present-day Kurdish 
women originate from this very old historical tradition. 
However, a negative aspect of tribal life is that opportunities to 
make the transition to a more advanced society are restricted. 

It is not a coincidence that amongst the peoples of the 
Middle East the Kurds have the best-developed sense of free¬ 
dom. We see this in their historical development. The pro¬ 
longed absence of the ruling and exploitative classes and their 
inability to generate any positive value for their community, 
plus the fact that throughout their history Kurds have had 
to fight nature and foreign incursions have all contributed to 
the development of this characteristic. The fact that women 
in Kurdish society are more prominent than in other Middle 


39 


Eastern societies is due to this historical reality. 

However, the present situation of women in Kurdish soci¬ 
ety needs to be analysed thoroughly. The situation of women 
throughout the world is bad, but that of Kurdish women is 
nothing but terrible slavery and unique in many respects. In 
fact, the situations of both women and children are appalling. 

Although in Kurdistan family is considered sacred, it has 
been crushed - especially as a result of a lack of freedom, eco¬ 
nomic inability, lack of education, and health problems. The 
phenomenon of the so-called honour killings is the symbolic 
revenge for what has happened in society in general. Woman 
is made to pay for the obliteration of society's honour. Loss 
of masculinity is taken out on woman. Except for woman's 
honour, the Kurdish male, who has lost both moral and po¬ 
litical strength, has no other area left to prove his power or 
powerlessness. 

Under the present circumstances, it may be possible to re¬ 
solve the family crisis if there is a general democratisation of 
society. Education and broadcasting in the mother tongue can 
partially eliminate identity impairment. Marriage, the rela¬ 
tions between husband and wife and children, has not even 
surpassed that of the old feudal relationships when capitalism's 
merciless relationships besieged them and turned their life into 
a complete prison. 

In its freedom struggle for the Kurdish people, the PKK 
did not only fight against the crippling effects of colonialism; 
above all, it struggled against internal feudalism in order to 
change the status of women and end the enslavement of soci¬ 
ety in general. Women were attracted to the struggle in great 
numbers - not only to resist colonialism, but also to end the 
internal feudalism and to demand freedom. Since the 1980‘s, 
this has caused Kurdish women, whether within or outside 
the organisation, to organise themselves as a movement and to 


40 


take and implement decisions that concern not only them as 
women but also concern society in general. I have tried to sup¬ 
port them in any way I can, both theoretically and in practice. 


41 


9. Capitalism 


A realistic definition of capitalism should not present it as a 
constant created and characterised by unicentral thought and 
action. It is, in essence, the actions of opportunist individu¬ 
als and groups who established themselves into openings and 
cracks within society as the potential for surplus product de¬ 
veloped; these actions became systematised as they nibbled 
away the social surplus. 

These individuals and groups never number more than one 
or two percent of society. Their strength is in their opportun¬ 
ism and organisational skills. Their victory relies not only on 
their organisational skills but also on their control of the re¬ 
quired objects and fluctuation of prices at the point where 
supply and demand intersect. If the official social forces do not 
suppress them; if, instead, these forces borrow from their prof¬ 
iteering giving their continuous support in return, then these 
groups who exist on the margins of all societies may legitimise 
themselves as the new masters of society. Throughout the his¬ 
tory of civilisation, especially in Middle Eastern societies, these 
marginal groups of broker-profiteers have always existed. But 
because of society's hatred of them, they could never find the 
courage to come into the daylight from the fissures they re¬ 
sided in. Not even the most despotic administrators had the 
courage to legitimise these groups. They were not just scorned, 
but seen as the most dangerous corruptive power; their eth¬ 
ics were considered the root of all evil. And indeed, the un- 


42 


surpassed wave of wars, plunders, massacres and exploitation 
originating from Western Europe over the last four hundred 
years, is largely a result of the capitalist system's hegemony. 
(But then, the biggest counter-struggle also took place in 
Western Europe, hence it cannot be considered a total loss for 
humanity.) 

Capitalism and the nation-state represent the dominant 
male in its most institutionalised form. Capitalist society is the 
continuation and culmination of all the old exploitative socie¬ 
ties. It is a continuous warfare against society and woman. To 
put it succinctly, capitalism and nation-state are the monopo¬ 
lism of the tyrannical and exploitative male. 

Breaking down this monopolism will perhaps be more 
difficult than breaking down the atom. A main objective of 
capitalist modernity's ideological hegemony is to obliterate the 
historic and social facts concerning its conception and its es¬ 
sence. This is because the capitalist economic and societal form 
is not a social and historical necessity; it is a construct, forged 
through a complex process. Religion and philosophy have 
been transformed into nationalism, the divinity of the nation¬ 
state. The ultimate goal of its ideological warfare is to ensure 
its monopoly on thought. Its main weapons to accomplish 
this are religionism, gender discrimination and scientism as a 
positivist religion. Without ideological hegemony, with politi¬ 
cal and military oppression alone, maintaining modernity will 
be impossible. While capitalism uses religionism to control so¬ 
ciety's cognisance, it uses nationalism to control classes and 
citizenship, a phenomenon that has risen around capitalism. 
The objective of gender discrimination is to deny women any 
hope of change. The most effective way for sexist ideology to 
function, is by entrapping the male in power relations and by 
rendering woman impotent through constant rape. Through 
positivist scientism, capitalism neutralises the academic world 


43 


and the youth. It convinces them that they have no choice but 
to integrate with the system, and in return for concessions this 
integration is assured. 

As with all oppressive and exploitative social systems, capi¬ 
talism could not rise without establishing a state. Whereas the 
dogmatism of the feudal system had a religious character, that 
of the archaic slave owning society had a mythological charac¬ 
ter. One god was embodied in the king and dynasty; but today 
god is presented as the invisible power in the state's noble ex¬ 
istence. 

When capitalism saw the opportunity to become a sys¬ 
tem, it started off by eliminating all societies based on the 
mother-woman culture. During early modernity, the strength 
of female sociality that was still trying to maintain itself was 
burnt on the stake of the witch-hunter. In order to establish 
its hegemony over woman through her profound enslavement, 
these burnings were very useful tools. Woman is at the service 
of the system today partly because of the wide-spread burning 
of woman at the onset of capitalism. The embedded fear of the 
stake has put women in Europe under the total servitude of 
the man. 

After eliminating women, the system mercilessly demol¬ 
ished the agrarian and village society. As long as the communal 
democratic character of society stands, capitalism cannot at¬ 
tain maximum power and profits. Thus, this kind of sociality 
was inevitably targeted. In this way, the complete entrapment 
of the oldest slave, woman, became the model for all other 
enslaved lives — that of children and men. 

Political and military power play quite an important role in 
maintaining the capitalist system’s hegemony. But what is cru¬ 
cial is to possess and subsequently to paralyse society via the 
cultural industry. The mentality of communities under the in¬ 
fluence of the system has weakened and its members have be- 


44 


come gullible. Many philosophers claim that society has been 
turned into a society of the spectacle, similar to the zoo. The 
sex, sports, arts and culture industries, in combination and in 
sequence, bombard the emotional and analytic intelligence in¬ 
cessantly by means of a diverse spread of advertisements. As a 
result, both emotional and analytical intelligence have become 
completely dysfunctional; the conquering of society’s mental¬ 
ity is thus complete. 

What is of grave concern is society’s voluntary acceptance 
of its captivity by the combined cultural and sex industries, 
and moreover, perceiving this as a burst of freedom! This is 
the strongest base and tool of legitimisation the rulers have. 
Capitalism can only reach the empire phase with the aid of the 
cultural industry. Therefore, the struggle against the cultural 
hegemony requires the most difficult struggle of all: mental 
struggle. Until we can develop and organise the essence and 
form of a counter-struggle against the cultural war waged by 
the system through its invasions, assimilation and industriali¬ 
sation, not a single struggle for freedom, equality and democ¬ 
racy has a chance to succeed. 

Capitalist modernity is a system based on the denial of 
love. Its denial of society, unrestrained individualism, gender 
discrimination in all areas, deification of money, substitution 
of god with the nation-state, and turning woman into an au¬ 
tomaton that receives no or little wages, mean that there are 
no material grounds for love either. 


45 


io. Economy 


Economy has been turned into a subject matter that ordinary 
people are not supposed to understand. It has intentionally been 
made complicated so that the plain reality can be disguised. It 
is the third force, after ideology and violence, through which 
women, and subsequently the entire society, was entrapped and 
forced to accept dependence. Economy literally means “house¬ 
holding”, originally the women’s domain, along with other fun¬ 
damental sections of society which I will discuss later. 

In the womans order, there was accumulation too, but this 
was not for the merchant or the market. It was for the family. 
This is what humanitarian and real economy is. Accumulation 
was prevented from becoming a danger by widespread use of 
the gift culture. Gift culture is an important form of economic 
activity. It is also compatible with the rhythm of human devel¬ 
opment. 

As woman was ousted generally from the history of civilisa¬ 
tion but specifically from capitalist modernity, big men had 
the opportunity to distort the functioning of economy and 
thus turning it into a mass of problems. This was done by 
people with no organic link to the economy because of their 
excessive lust for profit and power. They thus placed all eco¬ 
nomic forces, especially woman, under their own control. The 
result is that the forces of power and state have grown exces¬ 
sively, like a tumour on society, to an extent where it can no 
longer be sustained or maintained. 


46 


The economic problem actually begins as the woman is 
ousted from the economy. In essence, economy is everything 
that has to do with nourishment. It may seem peculiar, but 1 
believe the real creator of economy still is woman, despite all 
attempts to overrun and colonise her. A thorough analysis of 
the economy will show that woman is the most fundamen¬ 
tal force of economy. Indeed, this is clear when we consider 
her role in the agricultural revolution, and how she gathered 
plants for millions of years. Today, she does not only work in¬ 
side the home but in many areas of economic life; she is the 
one that keeps on turning the wheel. After woman, those who 
can be classified as slaves, serfs and workers would be second 
in line to the claim of being creators of economy. They have 
been kept under control continuously and cruelly so that the 
civilisational powers can seize their surplus product and value. 
Third in line are all the artisans, small merchant-shopkeepers 
and small landowner-farmers who are, admittedly, a little freer. 
To this category we can add the artists, architects, engineers, 
doctors and all other self-employed people. This will just 
about complete the picture of those who create and constitute 
the economy. 

The most brutal period for woman was when she was ousted 
from the economy during the capitalist civilisation. This real¬ 
ity can be called the “woman destitute of economy”. This has 
become the most striking and profound social paradox. The 
entire female population has been left unemployed. Although 
housework is the most difficult work, it is seen as valueless. 
Although childbirth and child rearing are the most exacting 
tasks of all, they are not always regarded as valuable but often 
as mere trouble. On top of being an unemployed childbearing 
and child raising machine that is inexpensive to purchase and 
can be run cost free, woman can be used as scapegoat, carry¬ 
ing the guilt for all that is wrong. Throughout the history of 


47 


civilisation, she has been placed on the ground floor of society 
where she does her unpaid housework, raises the children and 
keeps the family together; duties that form the actual basis of 
capitalist accumulation. Indeed, no other society has had the 
power to develop and systemise the exploitation of woman to 
the degree that capitalism has. 

During the capitalist period she has been a target of in¬ 
equality, with no freedom and no democracy, not only at the 
ground level but at all levels. Moreover, the power of the sex¬ 
ist society has been implemented with such intensity and so 
deeply that woman has been turned into object and subject 
of the sex industry. The male dominant society has reached its 
peak in capitalist civilisation. 

Woman and economy are interwoven components. Because 
she generates economy according to fundamental needs only, a 
woman driven-economy never experiences depression; it never 
causes environmental pollution; and it never poses a threat to 
the climate. When we cease to produce for profit, we will have 
achieved the liberation of the world. This in turn will be the 
liberation of humanity and life itself. 


48 


ii. Killing the dominant male: Instituting 
the Third Major Sexual Rupture against the 
dominant male 


Although male dominance is well institutionalised, men too 
are enslaved. The system is in fact reproducing itself in the in¬ 
dividual male and female and their relationship. Therefore, if 
we want to defeat the system, we need a radical, new approach 
towards woman, man and their relationship. 

History, in a sense, is the history of the dominant male who 
gained power with the rise of classed society. The ruling class 
character is formed concurrent with the dominant male char¬ 
acter. Again, rule is validated through mythological lies and 
divine punishment. Beneath these masks lies the reality of bare 
force and coarse exploitation. In the name of honour, man 
seized the position and rights of woman in the most insidious, 
traitorous and despotic manner. The fact that, throughout his¬ 
tory, woman was left bereft of her identity and character - the 
eternal captive - at the hands of man, has caused considerably 
more damage than class division has. The captivity of woman 
is a measure of society's general enslavement and decline; it 
is also a measure of its lies, theft and tyranny. The dominant 
male character of society has to date not even allowed for sci¬ 
entific analysis of the phenomenon of woman. 

The fundamental question is why man is so jealous, domi¬ 
nant and villainous where woman is concerned; why he con¬ 
tinues to play the rapist. Undoubtedly, rape and domination 
are phenomena related to social exploitation; they reflect soci¬ 
ety's rape by hierarchy, patriarchy and power. If we look a little 
deeper, we will see that these acts also express a betrayal of life. 


49 


Woman's multi-faceted devotion to life may clarify man's soci¬ 
etal sexist stand. Societal sexism means the loss of wealth of life 
under the blinding and exhausting influence of sexism and the 
consequent rise of anger, rape and a dominating stance. 

This is why it is important to place on the agenda the 
problem of man, which is far more serious than the issue of 
woman. It is probably more difficult to analyse the concepts 
of domination and power, concepts related to man. It is not 
woman but man that is unwilling to transform. He fears that 
abandoning the role of the dominant male figure would leave 
him in the position of the monarch who has lost his state. He 
should be made aware that this most hollow form of domina¬ 
tion leaves him bereft of freedom as well and, even worse, it 
forecloses reform. 

In order to lead a meaningful life, we need to define woman 
and her role in societal life. This should not be a statement 
about her biological attributes and social status but an analysis 
of the all-important concept of woman as a being. If we can 
define woman, it may be possible to define man. Using man 
as point of departure when defining woman or life will ren¬ 
der invalid interpretations because woman's natural existence 
is more central than man's. Woman's status is demeaned and 
made out to be insignificant by the male dominant society, but 
this should not prevent us from forming a valid understanding 
of her reality. 

Thus, it is clear that woman's physique is not deficient or 
inferior; to the contrary, the female body is more central than 
that of man. This is the root of man’s extreme and meaningless 
jealousy. 

The natural consequence of their differing physiques is that 
woman’s emotional intelligence is much stronger than man’s 
is. Emotional intelligence is connected to life; it is the intel¬ 
ligence that governs empathy and sympathy. Even when wom- 


50 


an’s analytic intelligence develops, her emotional intelligence 
gives her the talent to live a balanced life, to be devoted to life, 
not to be destructive. 

As can be seen even from this short argumentation, man is 
a system. The male has become a state and turned this into the 
dominant culture. Class and sexual oppression develop togeth¬ 
er; masculinity has generated ruling gender, ruling class, and 
ruling state. When man is analysed in this context, it is clear 
that masculinity must be killed. 

Indeed, to kill the dominant man is the fundamental prin¬ 
ciple of socialism. This is what killing power means: to kill 
the one-sided domination, the inequality and intolerance. 
Moreover, it is to kill fascism, dictatorship and despotism. We 
should broaden this concept to include all these aspects. 

Tiberating life is impossible without a radical women’s rev¬ 
olution which would change man’s mentality and life. If we 
are unable to make peace between man and life and life and 
woman, happiness is but a vain hope. Gender revolution is 
not just about woman. It is about the five thousand years old 
civilisation of classed society which has left man worse off than 
woman. Thus, this gender revolution would simultaneously 
mean man’s liberation. 

1 have often written about “total divorce”, i.e. the ability 
to divorce from the five thousand years old culture of male 
domination. The female and male gender identities that we 
know today are constructs that were formed much later than 
the biological female and male. Woman has been exploited for 
thousands of years according to this constructed identity; nev¬ 
er acknowledged for her labour. Man has to overcome always 
seeing woman as wife, sister, or lover - stereotypes forged by 
tradition and modernity. 

Claiming that we first have to address the question of state 
then the question of family, is not sound. No serious social 


51 


problem can be understood if addressed in isolation. A far 
more effective method is to look at everything within the total¬ 
ity, to render meaning to each question within its relationship 
to the other. This method also holds when we try to resolve 
problems. Analysing the social mentality without analysing 
the state, analysing the state without analysing the family, and 
analysing the woman without analysing the man would render 
insufficient results. We need to analyse these social phenomena 
as an integrated whole; if not, the solutions we arrive at will be 
inadequate. 

The solutions for all social problems in the Middle East 
should have womans position as focus. The fundamental objec¬ 
tive for the period ahead of us must be to realise the third ma¬ 
jor sexual rupture; this time against the male. Without gender 
equality, no demand for freedom and equality can be mean¬ 
ingful. In fact, freedom and equality cannot be realised with¬ 
out the achievement of gender equality. The most permanent 
and comprehensive component of democratisation is woman’s 
freedom. The societal system is most vulnerable because of the 
unresolved question of woman; woman who was first turned 
into property and who today is a commodity; completely, body 
and soul. The role the working class have once played, must 
now be taken over by the sisterhood of women. So, before we 
can analyse class, we must be able to analyse the sisterhood of 
women - this will enable us to form a much clearer under¬ 
standing of the issues of class and nationality. Woman’s true 
freedom is only possible if the enslaving emotions, needs and 
desires of husband, father, lover, brother, friend and son can all 
be removed. The deepest love constitutes the most dangerous 
bonds of ownership. We will not be able to discern the char¬ 
acteristics of a free woman if we cannot conduct a stringent 
critique of the thought, religious and art patterns concerning 
woman generated by the male dominated world. 


52 


Woman’s freedom cannot just be assumed once a society 
has obtained general freedom and equality. A separate and dis¬ 
tinct organisation is essential and woman’s freedom should be 
of a magnitude equal to its definition as a phenomenon. Of 
course a general democratisation movement may also uncov¬ 
er opportunities for woman. But it will not bring democracy 
on its own. Women need to determine their own democratic 
aim, and institute the organisation and effort to realise it. To 
achieve this, a special definition of freedom is essential in order 
for woman to break free from the slavery ingrained in her. 


53 


i x. Jineoloji as the science of woman 


The elimination of women from the ranks and the subjects of 
science requires us to look for a radical alternative. 

We firstly need to know how to win within the ideological 
arena and to create a libertarian, natural mind-set against the 
domineering, power hungry mentality of the male. We should 
always keep in mind that the traditional female subjugation 
is not physical but social. It is due to the ingrained slavery. 
Therefore, the most urgent need is to conquer the thoughts 
and emotions of subjugation within the ideological arena. 

As the fight for woman's freedom heads towards the political 
arena, she should know that this is the most difficult aspect 
of the struggle. If success is not attained politically, no other 
achievement will be permanent. Being successful politically 
does not entail starting a movement for woman's statehood. 
On the contrary, it entails struggling with statist and hierarchi¬ 
cal structures; it entails creating political formations aiming to 
achieve a society that is democratic, gender equal, eco-friendly 
and where state is not the pivotal element. Because hierarchy 
and statism are not easily compatible with woman's nature, a 
movement for woman’s freedom should strive for anti-hier¬ 
archical and non-statist political formations. The collapse of 
slavery in the political arena is only possible if organisational 
reform in this area can be successfully attained. The political 
struggle requires a comprehensive, democratic organisation 
of woman and struggle. All components of civil society, hu- 


54 


man rights, local governance and democratic struggle should 
be organised and advanced. As with socialism, woman's free¬ 
dom and equality can only be achieved through a comprehen¬ 
sive and successful democratic struggle. If democracy is not 
achieved, freedom and equality cannot be achieved either. 

The issues related to economic and social equality can also 
be successfully resolved through an analysis of the political 
power and through democratisation. A desiccated juridical 
equality means nothing in the absence of democratic politics; 
it will contribute nothing to the achievement of freedom. If 
the ownership and power relations which dominate and sub¬ 
jugate woman are not overthrown, then free relations between 
woman and man cannot be achieved either. 

Although the feminist struggle has many important facets, 
it still has a long way to go to break down the limitations on 
democracy set by the West. Neither does it have a clear under¬ 
standing of what the capitalist way of life entails. The situation 
is reminiscent of Lenin's understanding of socialist revolution. 
Despite much grand efforts and winning many positional bat¬ 
tles, Leninism ultimately could not escape making the most 
precious left wing contribution to capitalism. 

A similar outcome may befall feminism. Deficiencies weak¬ 
ening its contention are: not having a strong organisational 
base; inability to develop its philosophy to the full; and dif¬ 
ficulties relating to a militant woman's movement. It may not 
even be correct to call it „the real socialism of women's front", 
but our analysis of this movement has to acknowledge that it 
has been the most serious measure to date to draw attention 
to the issue of woman's freedom. It does highlight that she is 
only the oppressed woman of the dominant man. However, 
woman's reality is much more comprehensive than just being a 
separate sex; it has economic, social and political dimensions. 
If we see colonialism not only in terms of nation and country 


55 


but also in terms of groups of people, we can define woman as 
the oldest colonised group. Indeed, in both soul and body, no 
other social being has experienced such complete colonialism. 
It must be well understood that woman is kept in a colony 
with no easily identifiable borders. 

In light of the the above, I believe that the key to the resolu¬ 
tion of our social problems will be a movement for womans 
freedom, equality and democracy; a movement based on the 
science of woman, called Jineoloji in Kurdish. The critique of 
recent woman’s movements is not sufficient for analysing and 
evaluating the history of civilisation and modernity that has 
made woman all but disappear. If, within the social sciences, 
there are almost no woman themes, questions and movements, 
then that is because of civilisation and modernity’s hegemonic 
mentality and structures of material culture. 

Moreover, woman as the prime component of moral and 
political society, has a critical role to play in forming an ethic 
and aesthetic of life that reflect freedom, equality and democ- 
ratisation. Ethical and aesthetic science is an integral part of 
jineoloji. Because of her weighty responsibilities in life, she will 
no doubt be both the intellectual and implementation power 
behind developments and opportunities. Woman’s link with 
life is more comprehensive than man’s and this has ensured the 
development of her emotional intelligence. Therefore, aesthet¬ 
ics, in the sense of making life more beautiful, is an existential 
matter for woman. Ethically, woman is far more responsible 
than man. Thus, woman’s behaviour with regard to morality 
and political society will be more realistic and responsible than 
man’s. She is thus well suited to analyse, determine and decide 
on the good and bad aspects of education, the importance of 
life and peace, the malice and horror of war, and measures of 
appropriateness and justice. It would thus be appropriate to 
include economy in jineoloji as well. 


56 


13. Democratic modernity: 
Era of Woman’s Revolution 


Woman’s freedom will play a stabilising and equalising role in 
forming the new civilisation and she will take her place un¬ 
der respectable, free and equal conditions. To achieve this, the 
necessary theoretical, programmatic, organisational and imple¬ 
mentation work must be done. The reality of woman is a more 
concrete and analysable phenomenon than concepts such as 
“proletariat” and “oppressed nation”. The extent to which so¬ 
ciety can be thoroughly transformed is determined by the ex¬ 
tent of the transformation attained by women. Similarly, the 
level of woman’s freedom and equality determines the freedom 
and equality of all sections of society. Thus, democratisation 
of woman is decisive for the permanent establishment of de¬ 
mocracy and secularism. For a democratic nation, woman’s 
freedom is of great importance too, as liberated woman con¬ 
stitutes liberated society. Liberated society in turn constitutes 
democratic nation. Moreover, the need to reverse the role of 
man is of revolutionary importance. 

The dawn of the era of democratic civilisation represents not 
only the rebirth of peoples but, perhaps more distinctively, it 
represents the rise of woman. Woman, who was the creative 
goddess of the Neolithic society, has encountered continuous 
losses throughout the history of classed society. Inverting this 
history will inevitably bring the most profound social results. 
Woman, reborn to freedom, will amount to general liberation, 
enlightenment and justice in all upper and lower institutions 


57 


of society. This will convince all that peace, not war, is more 
valuable and is to be exalted. Woman's success is the success of 
society and the individual at all levels. The twenty first century 
must be the era of awakening; the era of the liberated, eman¬ 
cipated woman. This is more important than class or national 
liberation. The era of democratic civilisation shall be the one 
when woman rises and succeeds fully. 

It is realistic to see our century as the century when the will 
of the free woman will come to fruition. Therefore, permanent 
institutions for woman need to be established and maintained 
for perhaps a century. There is a need for Woman’s Freedom 
Parties. It is also vital that ideological, political and economic 
communes, based on woman’s freedom, are formed. 

Women in general, but more specifically the Middle Eastern 
women, are the most energetic and active force of democratic 
society due to the characteristics described above. The ultimate 
victory of democratic society is only possible with woman. 
Peoples and women have been devastated by classed society 
ever since the Neolithic Age. They will now, as the pivotal 
agents of the democratic breakthrough, not only take revenge 
on history, but they will form the required anti-thesis by posi¬ 
tioning themselves to the left of the rising democratic civilisa¬ 
tion. Women are truly the most reliable social agents on the 
road to an equal and libertarian society. In the Middle East, 
it is up to the women and the youth to ensure the anti-thesis 
needed for the democratisation of society. Woman’s awakening 
and being the leading societal force in this historical scene, has 
true antithetic value. 

Due to the class characteristics of civilisations, their develop¬ 
ment has been based on male domination. This is what puts 
woman in this position of anti-thesis. In fact, in terms of over¬ 
coming the class divisions of society and male superiority, her 
position acquires the value of a new synthesis. Therefore, the 


58 


leadership position of woman’s movements in the democrati- 
sation of Middle Eastern society has historical characteristics 
that make this both an anti-thesis (due to being in Middle 
East) and a synthesis (globally). This area of work is the most 
crucial work that I have ever taken on. I believe it should have 
priority over the liberation of homelands and labour. If I am to 
be a freedom fighter, I cannot just ignore this: Woman’s revo¬ 
lution is a revolution within a revolution. 

It is the fundamental mission of the new leadership to pro¬ 
vide the power of intellect and will needed to attain the three 
aspects crucial for the realisation of a democratic modernity- 
system: a society that is democratic as well as economically and 
ecologically moral. To achieve this, we need to build a suffi¬ 
cient number of academic structures of appropriate quality. It 
is not enough to merely criticise the academic world of moder- 
nity-we have to develop an alternative. These alternative aca¬ 
demic units should be constructed according to the priorities 
and the needs of all the societal areas, such as economy and 
technology, ecology and agriculture, democratic politics, secu¬ 
rity and defence, culture, history, science and philosophy, reli¬ 
gion and arts. Without a strong academic cadre, the elements 
of democratic modernity cannot be built. Academic cadres 
and elements of democratic modernity are equally important 
for attainment of success. Interrelationship is a must to attain 
meaning and success. 

The struggle for freedom (not only of women but of all 
ethnicities and different sections of the community) is as 
old as the enslavement and exploitation history of humanity. 
Yearning for freedom is intrinsic to human nature. Much has 
been learnt from these struggles, also from the one we have 
been waging for the past 40 years. Democratic society has ex¬ 
isted alongside different systems of mainstream civilisation. 
Democratic modernity, the alternative system to capitalist mo- 


59 


dernity, is possible through a radical change of our mentality 
and the corresponding, radical and appropriate changes in our 
material reality. These changes, we must build together. 

Finally, I would like to point out that the struggle for wom¬ 
en’s freedom must be waged through the establishment of their 
own political parties, attaining a popular women’s movement, 
building their own non-governmental organisations and struc¬ 
tures of democratic politics. All these must be handled togeth¬ 
er, simultaneously. The better women are able to escape the 
grip of male domination and society, the better they will be 
able to act and live according to their independence initiative. 
The more women empower themselves, the more they regain 
their free personality and identity. 

Therefore, giving support to women’s ire, knowledge and 
freedom movement is the greatest display of comradeship and 
a value of humanity. 1 have full confidence that women, ir¬ 
respective of their different cultures and ethnicities, all those 
who have been excluded from the system, will succeed. The 
twenty first century shall be the century of women’s liberation. 

I hope to make my own contributions — not only by writing 
on these issues, but by helping to implement the changes. 


60 


On the Author 


Abdullah Ocalan, born in 1949, studied political sciences in 
Ankara. He actively led the Kurdish liberation struggle as the 
head of the PKK from its foundation in 1978 until his abduc¬ 
tion on 15 February 1999. He is still regarded as a leading strat¬ 
egist and one of the most important political representatives of 
the Kurdish people. 

Under isolation conditions at Imrali Island Prison, Ocalan 
authored more than ten books which revolutionised Kurdish 
politics. Several times he initiated unilateral ceasefires of the 
guerilla and presented constructive proposals for a political so¬ 
lution of the Kurdish issue. 

The current “peace process” started in 2009 when the 
Turkish state responded to Ocalan’s call to resolve the Kurdish 
issue politically. Since 27 July 2011 he is being held again in 
almost total isolation at Imrali Island Prison. 


61 


On the International Initiative 


On 15 February 1999, the President of the Kurdistan Work¬ 
ers Party, Abdullah Ocalan, was handed over to the Republic 
ofTurkey following a clandestine operation backed by an alli¬ 
ance of secret services directed by their corresponding govern¬ 
ments. Disgusted by this outrageous violation of international 
law several intellectuals and representatives of civil organisa¬ 
tions launched an initiative for the release of Abdullah Ocalan. 
With the opening of a central coordination office in March 
1999 the International Initiative “Freedom for Abdullah Oca¬ 
lan - Peace in Kurdistan” started its work. 

The International Initiative regards itself as a multinational 
peace initiative working for a peaceful and democratic solu¬ 
tion of the Kurdish question. Even after long years of impris¬ 
onment Abdullah Ocalan is still regarded as the undisputed 
leader by a majority of the Kurdish people. Hence the solution 
of the Kurdish question in Turkey will be closely linked to his 
fate. As the main architect of the peace process, he is viewed 
by all sides as the key person for its successful conclusion, 
which puts Ocalan's freedom increasingly more on the agenda. 

The International Initiative is committed to play its part to 
this end. It does this through disseminating objective infor¬ 
mation, lobbying and public relations work including running 
campaigns. By publishing translations of Ocalan's prison writ¬ 
ings it hopes to contribute to a better understanding of the 
origins of the conflicts and possible solutions. 


62 


Publications by Abdullah Ocalan 


Books 

Declaration on the Democratic Solution of the Kurdish Ques¬ 
tion (1999) 

Prison Writings I: The Roots of Civilisation (2007) 

Prison Writings II: The PKK and the Kurdish Question in the 
21st Century (2011) 

Prison Writings III: The Road Map to Negotiations (2012) 

Brochures 

War and Peace in Kurdistan (2008) 

Democratic Confederalism (2011) 

More information and translations in other languages: www. 
ocalan-books. com 


63 


FREEDOM FOR OCALAN! 



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Rirckseite: 

Barcode 978-3-941012-82-0 
Published by 
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“Freedom for Abdullah Ocalan - Peace in Kurdistan” 


64 




Published by: 

Transmedia Publishing Ltd. — London, Cologne 
International Initiative Edition